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Espitia, Shaefer power Manteca juniors past Northgate
Jordan Eakes of the Northgate Dodgers tags out Darian Day of the Manteca Orioles on Friday in a 12-5 win for the Orioles in opening-round District 67 Juniors Tournament of Champions in Weston Ranch. - photo by Dave Campbell

STOCKTON — Jesse Espitia kept the Northgate Dodgers bottled up for most of six innings Friday and four runs came in off the bat of Jonathan Shaefer as the Manteca Orioles prevailed 12-5 in opening-round action of the Little League District 67 Juniors Tournament of Champions at Paul Weston Park.

Espitia pitched into the sixth, and with the exception of a two-error third that led to three Northgate runs he was able to keep the Dodgers off the board. Espitia allowed five hits and struck out one.

Shaefer brought in two runs in the first inning when his grounder to short was too hot to handle, scoring Gerson Gomez and Espitia. Shaefer had an RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth that scored James Gonzales and an RBI single in the fifth to plate Christopher Contreras.

Gomez was 4 for 5 with four runs, Contreras was 2 for 4 with two runs and Espitia had a two-RBI single.

Tyler Soulier and Jordan Eakes led off the third for Northgate with back-to-back singles. Soulier scored on an error and Eakes on a wild pitch. Jacob Ridgwell followed Soulier and Eakes with a walk and scored when Dominic Romero grounded out to tie the game at 3-3.

After the Orioles broke the game open with eight runs and seven hits in the fourth and fifth innings combined, the Dodgers added a run in the sixth and another in the seventh.

Manteca plays host Weston Ranch today at 3 p.m., and Northgate faces either Tracy American or Salida on Sunday morning at 9.